After Attorney General William Barr announced he will not show up for his scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday and refused to comply with a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report, House Democrats said they plan to hold Barr in contempt if he continues to flout congressional demands.
“Compliance with congressional subpoenas is not optional,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “If good-faith negotiations don’t result in a pledge of compliance in the next day or two, the next step is seeking a contempt citation against the attorney general.”
“Chairman Nadler just received a letter from Barr refusing to comply with our subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report and underlying materials. This is extremely dangerous behavior.”
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal
As Common Dreams reported, Barr objected to Nadler’s proposal to let committee staff lawyers question the attorney general following the time allotted to members of Congress.
Speaking to reporters after Barr announced he would not show up for the House hearing, Nadler said the attorney general is “is terrified of having to face a skilled attorney.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—a member of the House Judiciary Committee—said Wednesday night that she will urge Nadler to move ahead with a contempt citation against Barr.
“Chairman Nadler just received a letter from Barr refusing to comply with our subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report and underlying materials. That is unacceptable,” Jayapal tweeted. “This is extremely dangerous behavior.”
In an appearance on CNN late Wednesday, Jayapal said Barr and President Donald Trump’s refusal to comply with congressional requests and subpoenas shows the White House has “no respect” for checks and balances.
“I think what we’re talking about is the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship,” Jayapal said.
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